Cleveland Browns Instant Reactions: Big plays, bad defense spell doom against Chargers
Baker Mayfield plays better, leaves questions in Cleveland Browns loss
The Browns franchise quarterback quickly dissected the Chargers defense in the first half going 8-of-8, and it could have been more if not for a late first-half miscue to Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. where Beckham simply dropped the ball.
Mayfield distributed the ball all around, first relying on tight end David Njoku and then to wide receivers Rashard Higgins and Donovan Peoples-Jones. He finished the first half going 11-of-14 for 155 yards and a nice touchdown pass to Higgins in the flat.
Mayfield and the Browns controlled the tempo in the first half, having the ball for 22 minutes behind five drives that got to the red zone.
For all the unwarranted criticism of Mayfield this week he certainly played smart making quick decisions and leading the team on several long drives in the first half. The second half was a different story, where Mayfield faltered on two series allowing the Chargers to gain momentum and eventually the lead late in the third quarter. A back and forth battle ensued and the Browns couldn’t keep up with the Chargers.
However late in the game, Mayfield reverted back to his old ways and couldn’t complete passes and manage to get the Browns’ offense moving and cost the team the victory. Mayfield finished the game going 23-of-32 for 305 yards.